Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Do you have a numbing tingling feeling on the thumb side of your hand? Do you often wake up in the middle of the night with pins and needles? Do you feel like you have reduced grip strength? These signs and symptoms could be due to carpal tunnel syndrome.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome occurs when the median nerve, which runs from the forearm to the palm of the hand, becomes compressed at the wrist joint. At the wrist there is narrow passageway of ligament and bone called the carpal tunnel. The carpal tunnel consists of the median nerve as well as tendons that move the fingers. The median nerve supplies sensation to the palm side of the thumb, and to the index, middle and part of the ring finger. The median nerve controls some of the small muscles that control these areas, particularly the base of the thumb.
Some of the causes of carpal tunnel include repetitive movements of the hand, arthritis and pregnancy. These causes lead to bony changes at the wrist, thickening of the tendons or swelling which causes the passageway to become narrow and the median nerve to become compressed. When the median nerve is compressed it produces signs such as a numbing feeling, pins and needles, pain in the thumb, hand or forearm and a weakness when using your hand. It is important to have this type of pathology correctly diagnosed and treated to avoid permanent nerve damage.
Therapists at Specialists On Hand are trained to treat carpal tunnel syndrome. We are able to create a personalised treatment plan that embodies an individual’s lifestyle and diagnosis. We utilise a variety of treatment options to enable return to health:
- Pain management
- Anti-inflammatory management
- Activity modification and ergonomic education
- Soft tissue massage and myofascial release
- Wrist orthotic regimes
- Individualised muscle and nerve exercise programs
- Neurostimulation using Inter-X and TENS machines.
If you have any of the symptoms described please contact us. We will design an individualised treatment plan that will have you back to your regular activities as soon as possible.
Moscony, A. (2014). Peripheral nerve problems. In C. Cooper (Ed.), Fundamentals of hand therapy: Clinical reasoning and treatment guidelines for common diagnosis of the upper extremity (2nd ed., pp. 542-550). Missouri, USA: Elsevier.
Picture: Carpal tunnel syndrome, from Active Care Physiotherapy Clinic. https://sites.google.com/site/activecarephysiotherapyclinic/carpal-tunnel-syndrome